Showing posts with label granny stripes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label granny stripes. Show all posts

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Cold nights, warm blankets.

It's Winter now.

It's the time for blanket making!

I've been stash busting by crocheting a classic granny stripe blanket.
I rolled a bunch of my remnants into cakes. Yarn cakes look amazing until you use half of them. Then they look like hollowed out yarn shells and start to fall in on themselves.
Chuck Norris likes to try and sleep on the blanket while I'm crocheting. Just like a cat except heavier and his big clumpy claws pull out little threads in the blanket.

I'd like to show you a photo of the size of this blanket, but Chuck is always lying under or on it...
 This is a photo I like to call 'Dog in crochet on crochet'.
This is another photo I like to call 'Kid under crochet under cat'. 
When Sonofagun No.2 is sitting on this couch playing PS4 or watching tv, for reasons unknown, he does this with the blanket on the back of the couch.
His ever watchful guardian Bijoux, then sits on the back of the couch like this....
Whenever I have almost used up a yarn cake for the new granny stripe blanket, I roll it into a little ball and put it in another basket.
I started making up some random granny squares with these.
I sewed 5 of them together in a ring. They look very pretty!  
And made them into a lamp shade. 
This isn't really the right sort of lamp shade as the base was designed for a desk lamp so it has an awkward knob thing that sticks out the side.
It doesn't get hot enough to worry about being a fire hazard, so I don't have to spray with any kind of fire retardant.
Once the blanket has finished and I have some more little yarn balls leftover, I have the perfect lampshade waiting to be covered next to my bed!
I also stretched my baking skills. Not in doing any challenging baking. Just baking.
I bake about once every 4-5 years. I don't really like baking. But Sonofagun No.2 had just returned from school camp and was excited by something he had never had before called 'a scone'! 

I thought if my 10 year old could be excited about this mystical thing he had never had before, then I would blow his mind by baking some!
These were lemonade scones which are gluggy and sticky to make but come out of the oven super fluffy.
Sonofagun No.2 told me as he stuffed his face full of scones, jam and cream that my scones did not look like the real scones he had at camp, but they were 'adequate'.
On the weekend I made a super fast solo trip up to Mollymook. Look beautiful and sunny, doesn't it?
It's a lie. It was freezing and windy with occasional rain squalls.⛈

Aunty Horse Whisperer was getting married. So I flew up to Canberra on Friday morning.
As the plane landed, I looked out of the little windows at a brilliant blue sunny sky.
And the pilot said this:
"Welcome to Canberra where it's a sunny one degree outside."

That's the thing about Canberra winters. It lies to you. You look outside at 10am and think, "Wow it's beautiful and sunny!"
But you step out into arctic temperatures!
The Fatherdom was waiting to pick me up and drive me back to Mollymook.
That night the Parentals and I shared a delicious Italian sausage, fennel and fetta pizza.

On the day of the wedding, we all chipped in. It was a lovely backyard wedding at Aunty HWs little farm.

The Mothership had spent the whole week before the wedding preparing and freezing delicious mini quiches, meatballs and chicken wings for the big day. She then worked from 9am that morning with my Nana in the kitchen at Aunty HWs house preparing sandwiches, snacks etc for the guests. 
I helped Aunty Martha Stewart to prepare a grazing table full of deli meats, crackers, pate, cheeses, fruit and chocolates.
The next day it was straight onto one of these cool double decker Sydney trains from Kiama to Sydney airport. Our Melbourne trains are boring single level things. It only cost a couple of dollars for a 2 1/2 hr trip up the coast.
Thanks for stopping by!

Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Guiness World Record attempt

A year ago a little post popped up in my Facebook feed for an attempt at a Guiness World Record attempt at 'the most people crocheting simultaneously'.
It was to be held at a craft fair called Craft Alive in the town of Bendigo about an hour and 40 minutes north west of Melbourne. A free crochet hook for all participants and yarn supplied by Bendigo Wool Mills for the event.
Of course I was gonna go!
Fast forward to last weekend and the Divine Miss Emma and I piled into her little car on a miserable, rainy winter morning and hit the highway to Bendigo!
I didn't take any of my current projects as they are not very travel friendly. So I threw a couple of balls of hot pink yarn and a 4mm hook in my bag 'just in case'!
The temperature was freezing and the rain pelted the little black car along the way. I left my hand mitts at home so I started crocheting a new pair on the road!
The rain eased as we arrived in the postcard pretty town. 

I was wearing a pair of socks I knitted last year and some cheap sparkly gumboots. Perfect for stomping through icy puddles and mud!

The Craft Alive fair pops up every month or so around NSW and Victoria. I haven't really bothered with going before as there is usually loads of stalls for quilters, scrapbookers, bead thing makers, button lovers and chandlers. 
Luckily there was a few yarn sellers today with some deliciously squishy skeins. I was extremely good and only bought one ball. Yes, one!!!
I know it's another ball of sock yarn but my mind is brimming with different NON SOCK ideas for this ball!

Finally an announcement was made over the loudspeaker for all participants in the world record attempt.
We all filed into the part of the auditorium with long strips of tape on the floor and stood along strips with 50 people per line. Emma and I took folding chairs and thank Holy Oprah we did as the cold, concrete floor would have been a teensy bit hemorrhoid inducing.
A man declared lots of random Guinness record type announcements through a loud speaker, however it was kind of hard to hear him in the echoey auditorium.  Emma and I kept counting rows to figure out if we were going to have enough people to break the record. We were counted, wrist-banded and recounted. We signed our name on several different clipboards. And we were counted again.
The current world record of 604 is held by the NSW town of Singleton. We were in the 2nd row, so as more rows of people gathered, it became harder to work out how many there were. But the Loud Speaker Guy kept calling for more people from the fair to come in, including exhibitors and stall holders. It didn't look good folks!  
Husbands who had never crocheted were hauled in by their wives, there were kids of all ages with hook and yarn in hand and most were quite experienced!  Many including ourselves brought along their own projects, some gladly used the supplied hook and yarn.

A local news crew was there walking their video camera up and down the aisles. You can view the news item on their Facie page (the side of us appeared once. The kid at the beginning of the interview is adorable!)

A photographer from the local rag The Bendigo Advertiser took photos of everyone including Emma and I who were happily seated, crocheting and under my Granny Stripe blanket which I crocheted several years ago from Attic 24s pattern.
photo courtesy of Noni Hyett Bendigo Advertiser
Look at that! It's Emma and I in the feature photo!! Our 5 minutes of fame. You can read the article and view all the photos here.

Finally at the official start time of 2.30pm we were told to start crocheting! We all crocheted furiously for 15 minutes! Well, not really. It was like crocheting at home, but for a much shorter time and without Netflix.
And before we knew it we were chanting the count down for the last 10 seconds and at last everyone gave a mighty "YAYYYYYY!"

And then wandered out chatting and laughing in search of coffee or anything else warm.
But we weren't told the result! Nobody said, "Well done everybody! We had the numbers!"
We just heard murmurs of "Um, yes we have to wait and hear back from the Guiness people," which we took to mean they fell short of numbers.
Which they did. Apparently not by much but we gave it our best shot!

After a couple of hot chocolates at a local cafe, we bundled into the car for the journey home. And I kept working on my mitts. I finished one in the middle of the record attempt and finished the other mitt when we were 15 minutes from home.
Let's hope they give it another whirl next year!

The Red Haired Amazona


Monday, 21 August 2017

Twinkle Star Hand Mitts

A few years ago I crocheted myself a pair of these snug hand mitts designed by Lucy from Attic 24.

As you can tell, they've had a lot of use!

It was a super easy pattern and there are LOADS of variations out there in the interwebs.

Then recently a hole appeared.

I was totes devo* (as the youth of today say).

*totally devastated, inconsolable, grief stricken, my heart had broken into a million pieces

I was about to make another pair the same. I loved them. They were warm, but left my fingers free to handle keys, type sms, pick my nose and all the other things you need fingers for.

Yes, I do complain about the cold but it doesn't get super dooper freezing down here in Melbourne. So I don't need to hide my little typing, handling, picking fingers in chunky gloves.

And you know me. I get a little creative, experimental, sometimes psycho. But this time just the first two.

So here just for you is yet another scrumdiddiliumptious FREE tutorial for my latest pair of mitts!

Would you like to make some? Awesome!

So let's get started!

For this pair, I have chosen Peacock inspired colours of purples, blues and teals, with a splash of pink and silver.  But you can choose to use any colour combo you like such as the pinky, blue ones in the photo above.

What will you need?

* a combination of 8ply cotton yarns in the colours listed in the chart below, or your own choices.  The silver thread will probably be acrylic.

Colour A


Colour B

Hot Pink

Colour C

Mid Pink

Colour D


Colour E


Colour F


Colour G


Colour H

Navy Blue

* a 4mm crochet hook
* a 3.5mm crochet hook
* scissors
* a darning needle

Stitch Abbreviations
(U.S. Crochet terms are used)   




Double crochet


Finish off


Half double crochet


long half double crochet


Single crochet






Slip stitch



For this pattern, we will be working strictly right to left. At the end of each row, after you finish off a colour, DO NOT TURN!!!  You join the new colour back at the beginning of the previous row.
This creates a definite 'front' and 'back' side to your fabric. 

This applies for all rows EXCEPT THE STAR STITCH ROWS. (Sorry, didn't mean to yell in All Caps!)
For the Star Stitch rows only, we will turn and work on the wrong side of the fabric.

Let's get started!

Generally I create a starting chain in groups of 6 + 3. So for my mitt below, I crocheted a starting chain of 39 {6 x 6 + 3}.

To make one a little wider, you could crochet a starting chain of 6 x 7 + 3 = 45.
To make one a little narrower, you could crochet a starting chain of 6 x 5 + 3 = 33
This simply ensures the shell rows and star stitch rows all work out nicely. If you wish to deviate from this stitch count, then adjust your pattern accordingly.

Starting Chain: Take your 4mm hook, and crochet a starting chain of 39 stitches.
Do not finish off. SWITCH TO THE 3.5mm HOOK!
Crochet hand mitts
The Starting Chain
Row 1: Starting from the 3rd ch from the hook, sc in each stitch across. FO. [37sc] 
Crochet hand mitts
Row 1


Row 2: Join Colour B. Ch 1, sc in same st, *(sk 2 st, 5dc in next st, sk 2 st, sc in next st).
Repeat from * to the end. FO. [6 shells, 7 sc = 37st]

Crochet hand mitts
Row 2

Row 3: Join Colour C. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), then 2 dc in base of beg ch3. Sk 2 st, sc in 3rd dc of Row 2 Shell (middle dc of shell), *(sk 2 st, 5dc in sc of previous row, sk 2 st, sc in next st which is the middle st of R2 shell).
Repeat from * 6 times, then sk 2 st, 3dc in last st. FO. [5 shells, 2 x 1/2 shells, 6sc = 37 st]

Crochet hand mitts
Row 3
Row 4: Join Colour D. Ch1, sc in same st. *(Ch1, sk next st, sc in next st).
Repeat from * to the end. Sc in last st. FO. [19sc, 18ch = 37st]

Crochet hand mitts
Row 4
Row 5: Join Colour E. Ch1, sc in same st. *(Sc in Ch1 sp, ch1, sk next st). Repeat from * to the last Ch1 sp, then also sc in last st. FO. [20 sc, 17 ch = 37st]

crochet hand mitts
Row 5
Row 6: Join Colour F. Repeat Row 4. FO.

crochet hand mitts
Beginning of Row 6
crochet hand warmers mitts gloves cotton
Row 6

crochet gloves mitts mittens hand warmers cotton
Deciding what colours go next...

Row 7: Join Colour D. Repeat Row 4. FO.

Crochet mitts gloves hand warmers mittens cotton
Row 7
Row 8: Join Colour G. Ch1, then in base of same stitch: Lhdc in the sc of R6 right between the 'posts' of the stitch, *(sc in next st, then in the Ch1 sp from row 7, crochet a lhdc down into the row 6 single crochet right between the posts. See photo below).
Repeat from * to the end, finishing with a Lhdc. FO. [19 lhdc, 18sc = 37st]

crochet hand warmers mittens mitts gloves cotton
Row 8: Close up of the long half double crochet stitch placed between the posts of the single crochet from Row 6

Spike stitch crochet hdc sc mitts gloves
Tah-dah! Not so hard is it!

spike stitch half double crochet hdc gloves mitts
And then the single crochet stitch in the next sc...
Row 9: Join Colour H. Repeat Row 2. FO.

fan stitch crochet gloves mitts
Row 9

Row 10: Join Colour F. Repeat Row 3. FO. 
fan stitch basic crochet cotton 8 ply mitts gloves
Row 10
*******The Star Stitch Rows*******
Rightio! Do you know how to crochet the Star Stitch? if you don't, you will shortly.
Remember how we have been working on one side of the fabric only? For these next star stitch rows, we will be turning and working the half double crochet rows on the back side of the fabric.
After you finished Row 10, join Colour 'A' AT THE END OF ROW 10, then turn to begin Row 11.
Row 11: Ch2 (counts as 1st hdc), then hdc in each st across. Turn. [37hdc]
star stitch marguerite crochet gloves mitts
Row 11: the 1st row of the star stitch
Let's walk step by glorious step to make our stars!

Row 12:
Step 1: Chain 3

star stitch tutorial marguerite stitch crochet gloves mitts hand warmers
Row 12  Step 1: let's take this a little at a time....

Step 2: Insert hook into the 2nd chain from the hook...

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: Step 2

Step 3: and pull up a loop.  You should now have 2 loops on the hook.
star stitch tutorial crochet hand mitts gloves
Row 12: Step 3
Step 4: Insert hook into the 3rd chain from the hook...

star stitch tutorial gloves crochet mitts
Row 12: Step 4
Step 5: and pull up a loop. You should now have 3 loops on the hook.

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: Step 5
Step 6: Insert hook into the 1st st of the previous row (at the base of the ch3) and pull up a loop. You should now have 4 loops on the hook.

Row 12: Step 6
Step 7: Insert hook into the 2nd st and pull up a loop. You should now have 5 loops on the hook.
Row 12: Step 7.
Step 8: Insert hook into the 3rd st and pull up a loop. You will now have 6 loops on the hook.
Row 12: Step 8. Woah! Look at all those loops!
Step 9: Yarn over, and pull through all 6 loops leaving 1 loop left on the hook.

star stitch tutorial marguerite stitch crochet mitt
Row 12: Half a star!
Step 10: Chain 1. This will make the 'eye' of the star.

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: See that little circle? That's the 'eye' of the star!
Step 11: Stick your hook into the 'eye' of the star which you just finished...

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: stick your hook right in his eye!!!

Step 12: and pull up a loop. You should now have 2 loops on the hook. 
Now look carefully for the spike!  See that last spike from the star you just finished? Look at the photo below...
Row 12: See that big arrow? Pointing at the 'spike'? That's the spike we mean!
Step 13: Insert the hook into that last spike...

Row 12: Inserting the hook...
Step 14: and pull up a loop. You should now have 3 loops on the hook.

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: You did it! Well, that small bit anyway...
Step 15: Insert the hook into the stitch at the base of that last spike. Then pull up a loop. 
You will now have 4 loops on the hook.

Row 12: 4 loops on the hook
Step 16: Insert hook into the next st and pull up a loop. You will now have 5 loops on the hook.

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: 5 loops

Step 17: Insert hook into next stitch and pull up a loop. You will now have 6 loops on the hook.

Step 18: Yarn over, and pull through all 6 loops leaving 1 loop left on the hook.

Step 19: Chain 1. This will make the 'eye' of the star.

Repeat Steps 11-19 for each little star all the way to the end.

For the very last star in the row, make sure you use the very last stitches including the turning chain from the previous row, and you should end up with 18 little half stars.

Remember we will be turning and working back along for the next row to finish the stars, so after the last star: turn!

Row 13: Ch2 (counts as 1st hdc), hdc in same st, then crochet 2 hdc in each 'eye' of the star of the previous row all the way to the end, finishing with 1 hdc in the last stitch. [37st]

Row 13: Working along the back side of the fabric, See how there's 2 hdcs in each eye?

Row 14: Repeat Row 12. [18 stars]

Row 15: Repeat Row 13 [37hdc]

Row 16: Repeat Row 12 [18 stars]

Row 17: Repeat Row 13 [37 hdc]

Row 18: Repeat Row 12 [18 stars]

Row 19: Repeat Row 13. FO. You will be finishing on the 'back' side of the work. Now turn over and we will continue to work on the 'front' side only from right to left.

Close up of the finished star stitch rows including the hdc rows.

Once you've finished Row 19, this is what the 'front side' of the work will look like.

star stitch back of work hand mitts
After you've finished Row 19, this is what the 'back side' of the work looks like. A bit weird and lumpy. Don't worry, it will all be hidden when we've finished.
Row 20: Join Colour F. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), then from the next st, dc in each st to the end. FO. [37 dc]

Row 20. Just dcs. Nothing crazy!
Row 21: Join Colour H. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), then dc in same st. Sk 2 st *(3dc in next st, sk 2 st).
Repeat from * to the end, then work just 2dc in last st. FO [37dc]

granny stitch row crochet hand warmers
Row 21 is just a granny stripe row
Row 22: Join Colour D. Ch1 (does not count as 1st st). Sc in same st and in each st across to the end. FO. [37 sc]

single crochet hand mitts warmers crochet silver
Row 22
Row 23: Join Colour C. Repeat Row 4. FO. [19sc, 18ch = 37st]

Row 24: Join Colour E. Repeat Row 5. FO. [20 sc, 17ch = 37st]

Row 25: Join Colour A. Repeat Row 4. FO. [ 19sc, 18ch = 37st]

Tah- dah!
 Now sew in your threads if you didn't do it along the way, and block if you're a blocker.
I did as the star stitch rows make things go a little wonky.  I just pinned it out and gave it a light spritz with a water spray bottle.

Once you're ready to sew them together, fold in half with front or 'right' sides together.

Then using either the main colour cotton, carefully hand stitch along where indicated below, leaving a gap for your thumb.

I usually leave the gap from the top of the star stitch rows to about 2-2.5 rows down. Then place a stitch marker to indicate where I'm going to start stitching again.

And that's one done!  Now make another!

The cotton is washable and lightweight but cosy.